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Discussion Starter #1
Just bought a new-to-me 2007 R1200RT w/ 11,200 miles on it. Been riding for about 25 years, but this is my first BMW (coming off a 2006 Honda ST1300).
Here are my questions:
1. The bike does not have ESA. I've set the suspension up to the "standard settings" as outlined in the owners manual, but it still feels a little too soft to me. Any suggestions?
2. My tool kit was missing the wrench for the oil filler cap. Any idea where I can get another?
3. The final drive: Why did BMW go from no maintenance to 12K maintenance interval on this unit? I've heard about the failures...but lifetime to 12k seems extreme.
4. Tire pressure. I'm running the OEM Bridgestones with a light load in the saddle bags and a top case. Just me, no pax. Looking for performance rather than tread life. Any suggestions?
5. Bike has got only one month left on the BMW warranty. Anything important i should look at to ensure it does or does not need fixing in this one month?
Thanks in advance.
Skitch
 

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A good year for RT's, I have some personal opinion suggestions. 1) Snug up the suspension adjustments to where you like them. After you save some lunch money buy either Ohlins or Wilbers shocks, it will be a huge difference and you will be glad. With bags and top bad the bike needs to be set up as if two people are riding, it will be better. 2) go to your dealer and buy the little plastic wrench for your oil plug, cheapest thing you will buy there almost. 3) final drive failures, do the maintenance, not hard plenty of threads on how to do it as there is no drain plug. takes about 40 minutes. 4) dump the bridgestones and buy some other premium brand such as Michelin or Metzler, check the tire poles for opinions. 5) make sure your bike has the new antena ring on the ignition, you need #61 357 705 247. You can see the number on the part with a flashlight and looking hard. Now, change the brake fluid. Be careful your model may have mineral oil for clutch fluid, do not sub in anything else or you will trash the system and it is big dollars. Make friends with someone who owns a GS-911 computer reading tool. Make friends with someone who owns a tire machine. Now have fun. (buy the maintenance disc and use Max BMW parts fiche for information or parts). I try to support my local dealer but I admit I mail order parts about half the time.
Oh yea, Sears is having a 50 buck sale on all their torque wrenches this week, get one (if you don't have some already) in the 0-50 lb range for all the little stuff especially drain plugs. And you need one good for up to 100 lbs for the rear wheel lug nuts.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the quick reply.
I'm going to play around with the sag this weekend when I have a litle time. Yeah, Ohlins would be nice...maybe at the 20-25k mile point.
I ran this same tire on my ST1300, and was luke warm about it. Last set I ran was the Metz Z6 Interact. Might look to swap into those on the RT as well.
I'll look at the antenna ring.
I assume Ican get a mx disk from the dealer...anywhere else on the web thta might be cheeper?
I'll check out Max BMWs site, as I'm in the market for some handel bar screws. PO had risers on it, and I'd like to remove them and return to stock.
Skitch
 

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On #3, the comment about final drive failures is correct, but incomplete.

The previous design FD's are well known for fragging the huge crown wheel bearing and taking out the seals, dumping the FD gear oil all over your wheel while the wheel wobbles about. Ugly. The new FDs are completely different.

Aside from initial issues with the first year or so of production of the new FD design (total redesign as compared to the old drives), the bearings on the new drives have been holding up much better. The drive was originally designed as a not-vented-to-atmosphere unit, which in theory meant the gear oil would never need to be changed, as no moisture or dirt from the air would ever enter the FD (hence the lack of drain plugs).

So much for theory -- in the real world, two issues arose: (i) no one in design apparently considered that there is an initial break-in period, and shortly after inital use the "crud" from the gears wearing in would need to be flushed; (ii) the fill quantity wsa high enough that when the FD warmed up, the air space was so small that excess vapor pressure built up, causing the seals to weep.

BMW's responses have included specifying a change interval -- at the 600 mi service, IIRC, and at 12k thereafter (FWIW, the 12K interval isn't a "drastic" shortening -- they just went back to the same interval they've used for the last at least 40 years), and changing the fill quantity from 230 ml to 180 ml to create additional vapor space in the FD (the 180 ml just happens to correspond to a level about even with the plug on the rear face of the FD -- exactly the same level used the last several decades in the older drives.

It appears that these changes have worked -- there have been *very* few reports of problems with '09-current FDs, and I would expect the pre-'08 FD's which are regularly maintained with the 180 ml fill should be trouble-free, too.
 

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Hey Skitch.. I saw your post over at the Sport Touring forum... you have chosen the two best places to hang out.

I will reply here...

Contrary to what some others have said... shocks are not likely shot at your mileage. Do the adjustment that you can and find what feels better. PreLoad (sag) and Rebound. I have 28k on mine and ride 2 up most of the time. Still feels good to me.

Oil Filler Cap... as I said over there... finger tight works for me.

Final Drive... previous replies are right on. Original BMW No-Maintenance thoughts proved wrong. In my opinion the most important thing is the volume specification change. Be sure you used the new 180ml volume, not the earlier 220ml.

You will find that different tires have a significantly different feel. As an experienced rider you will find the BMW will tell you this immediately. I have tried many different ones and just my personal opinion is that the Michelin PR2 are great. The Avon Storms are excellent for performance riding but wear quickly. Ride what you like.

Tire pressure is also very noticeable to those with an experienced butt. I like 38 front and 42 rear...

I can think of nothing you can do to prepare for end of warranty except consider the optional, third-party Extended Warranty. I spent the $1k and got 3 more years. Never needed it but felt good to have it. If you want to check it, let me know with a PM and I will recommend a dealer who sells a good policy.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the inputs. I'm having a blast with the new bike.
 
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